Asparagus is a plant with a claw-shaped rhizome, which is complemented by thick roots that accumulate nutrients and fine roots that absorb water and nutrients from the soil. The stems or shoots that grow from the rhizome are the organs that are harnessed, before the stem leaves unfold. If the stem develops under the ground without contact with light, it appears white. On the contrary, if this stem grows outside, it will be green.
In Spain, asparagus production is between 70,000 tons, occupying up to 15,000 hectares in the provinces of Seville, Cáceres and Navarra. Part of this production is exported and another part is transformed for industrial consumption (approximately 20%).
It prefers sandy soils and adapts well to alkaline pH up to 7.8. It is difficult for him to grow in soils with an acidic pH. It is a plant resistant to salinity.
Thanks to its rhizome this plant that can resist low temperatures. The upper part is more sensitive to frost and can be damaged, but thanks to its reserve system it will sprout again when the time is right. It germinates from 10ºC and its growth optimum is between 16 and 30ºC. Higher temperatures can favor the opening of stem leaves.
The maximum water requirement occurs in the vegetative growth phase, although in soils with a high amount of clay, excess irrigation should be avoided to avoid potential fungal attacks.
There are many varieties in Spain, such as Blanco de Aranjuez, Blanco de Zaragoza, Largo de Navarra or Verde de California among others. Depending on the area, there may be varieties that are more adapted to the terrain because they are regional.
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